New Delhi: Augmenting its anti-piracy operations, the Indian Navy is deploying another warship with marine commandos on board to combat pirates off the island nations of Seychelles and Mauritius, an official said Monday.
INS Savitri, an offshore patrol vessel, with a Chetak helicopter and marine commandos on board, "will conduct surveillance of the exclusive economic zones of Seychelles and Mauritius from November-end till early January 2010," said Indian Navy spokesperson Commander P.V.S. Satish.
INS Savitri will operate in close coordination with the ships and aircraft of the Seychelles Coast Guard and the Mauritian National Coast Guard.
"The presence of this ship will help in deterring piracy in these areas," Satish added.
Over the past few years, incidents of piracy in the Gulf of Aden, one of the busiest sea lanes, have registered an increase. More than 174 piracy attempts against the ships of various nationalities have taken place in the last one year in the Gulf of Aden and off the coast of Somalia.
To deter, dissuade and prevent piracy in the Gulf of Aden, an Indian naval ship has maintained presence in the Gulf of Aden since Oct 23, 2008.
"As a result of the effectiveness of warship patrols and escorts in the Gulf of Aden, pirates have shifted their attention to the area east of Somalia, also referred to as the Somalia Basin, and to the exclusive economic zones of Seychelles and Mauritius in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR)," the spokesperson added.
Apart from achieving considerable success in the Gulf of Aden, in April, the Indian Navy had foiled a piracy bid off Seychelles and arrested nine pirates.